Add a rigorous and engaging synthesis opportunity to the teaching of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, The Great Gatsby. Whether you teach the entire novel, excerpts, assign it as an outside reading or show the film, this synthesis activity will work for you.
Both the ELA 11-12 Common Core Standards and the College Board's AP Language and Composition course and test require students to be adept at evaluating, critiquing and synthesizing numerous examples of print and non-print text. With this knowledge, students should be able to compose a timed write essay in which they take a position and support it with numerous examples of correctly cited evidence.
The document for students to examine contains a variety of print and non-print text including informational text. Images are Creative Commons photos from the National Archives.
The assignment can be written as a full-fledged 40-minute timed write, included in a class discussion, or undertaken as a group activity.
The College Board has published a generic Synthesis Essay rubric that works for grading this assignment: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/samplescoringguidelin_51461.pdf